You may have noticed that I’ve not been here for a while. I ended up taking a little (big?) blogging hiatus after my last post about consent and the reactions to it.
People were sending me messages on Twitter after someone linked my post and mocked it.
Now there’s plenty that I don’t agree with on the internet, and I’ll be the first to say that a blanket policy of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is pretty dangerous.
But really, what is the benefit of sending a bunch of trolls over to a mum who’s just doing her best? Everyone seemed to agree that I wasn’t doing anything harmful to my daughter, just that they found my actions laughable. (But I stand by what I said!)
People messaged me to say that my daughter was going to grow up weak and coddled. They said that my parenting was the problem with the world today, that I was a neglectful parent, that I shouldn’t be in sole charge of my child. Someone, rather bizarrely, said that she couldn’t take what I said seriously as I listed my rabbits in my Twitter bio before my human daughter.
My phone buzzed with cruel and unnecessary comments for about 48 hours.
I’m going to be honest. I was really upset by it. The “texting my husband at work and crying” sort of upset. So I thought it was time to take a little blogging hiatus.
It was less of a rational, conscious decision and more of a thing that just happened. I couldn’t face social media or writing.
And maybe I should be more thick skinned. Maybe I should learn to let these things roll off me.
But maybe other people should learn to think before they speak, as well. Is what you’re saying useful?
There is someone behind every keyboard.
I wasn’t saying anything harmful. Did it need 20 different people to repeatedly mock me?
I’m a first time mum. Like most first time mums these days, I’m pretty isolated. My husband is at work full time, I see my own mum quite often but not every day, I don’t have many local friends… The internet really is my social outlet. My daughter is amazing, and does say a few words, but she’s not yet much of a conversationalist.
So when I get social interaction from 20 people in a day and 19 of them are really negative, that’s pretty rough.
The bad comments just kept coming throughout the day and I felt almost intimidated. Some people seemed so angry at me, and it occurred to me that they might actually go ahead with making their dangerous allegations of neglect. I was scared. (My baby really is not neglected. Sometimes I am, but she’s not!)
I’m further out from the birth now, but this was a few months ago. My hormones were, I’m afraid, going a bit mad. My cycles were starting to come back (at least breastfeeding kept them away until she was about seven months!) and I was feeling easily as blue as in the very first couple of days.
I was really fragile, to be honest. I hate to play the “hormonal woman” card, but it’s true. Maybe, in retrospect, I should have spoken to a doctor about postnatal depression. It’s easy to be wise after the event.
So, yeah, I felt bad. I felt like something relatively non controversial had been turned into this awful storm. I just wanted to hide.
Back from my blogging hiatus
But I’m back. I missed writing. I missed the people! Blogging was an amazing outlet for me during pregnancy and my baby’s early days, and even though I struggle to find any extra time these days, I’d like to do a bit here and there again.
Have you ever had a similar experience? How did you get over it?